19 September 2018
Dementia Awareness Month – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Wendy Hughes
September is Dementia Awareness Month, a national awareness-raising campaign held every year in Australia. The term dementia is used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning such as memory loss, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning and affects many people.
This year’s Dementia Awareness Month theme is Small actions Big difference. Dementia Australia’s CEO Maree McCabe said, “This September, during Dementia Awareness Month, we will be highlighting the small actions people can take to create a big difference for people living with dementia, their families and carers.” Nearly two thirds of people with dementia who live on their own, feel lonely – many people face the condition alone without adequate support and many lose friends. It is vital that the right support is available to enable them to live well, as dementia can be an extremely isolating experience.
A solution to loneliness is to encourage the person with dementia to accept services that support them to access the community, join activities or have some in-home company. Interchange Australia provides a wide range of services and activities that include social interaction.
People with dementia often lack depth perception and these simple steps are just some examples of how you can assist a person with dementia to better manage their condition:
• having a coloured toilet seat or a welcome mat that is not black;
• Larger fonts on documents such as legal papers or menus;
• Putting strips on steps and stairs; and
• Frosting a panel across a glass door
What we need to accept is that whilst dementia is more common in people aged 65 years or older, younger people can also be affected by dementia…so, let’s all be more understanding, patient and caring of those in our community who have dementia, whatever their age, and let’s ensure they are supported by all of us.
For more information about dementia, please visit the Dementia Australia website.
To learn more about the services Interchange Australia provides that can assist people with dementia, please call one of our friendly and experienced Consultants on 1300 112 334.